Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi-

We have had Nina for about 2 months now. We rescued her and she is a black lab mix (about 1 1/2 yrs old)- 35 pounds). She is doing so great... except the leash walking truly stinks.

We have seen a trainer, used the hold the leash close to you and pop the leash, tried a harness... she is still a really major puller. Sometimes I look like the ad for how not to walk a dog!

However, I still feel that she needs her walks and I do my best- I give her a one hour walk in the morning and part of it is ok and part of it is awful. The afternoon 20-30 min walk mostly always stinks. We do have a fenced in yard so she gets out about 2 other times a day to run around.

I have also been doing the stand still stuff when she pulls (which is every 3 steps) and we get nowhere. She knows to come back to me and loosen up the leash when I stop walking. So, I guess that is good.

My question is,,,,, she really needs her walks, yet, I cannot keep stopping and waiting because I have a job and when that hour is up.. if we got nowhere, then she doesn't get a walk.

Do you give up the walks for awhile because sometimes they undo what you try to do, or do you just do your best when you can and keep the walks bec. they are really impt.??

All advice appreciated!
Thanks
Lauren
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
I really had given up on mine because it was so hard for me not to get frustrated, but just this week I decided to slow down and take some advice I saw on here. Someone said straight up, if they cannot do it in the house without distractions they simply aren't going to do it outside. For 2 days off and on throughout the day we leashed up inside with a bag of treats, he focused on me because I had them, and I gave them to him when he was loose with the leash and walking by me. Today I walked him to the mail box and he barely pulled.

Have you tried it inside? We have a bit of a yard so usually we play out there and at the park so just walks around are somewhat rare. Maybe try for a few runs inside with a handful of something yummy, then take it outside immediately after and see if you see some of the same behavior. I completely feel you though, we have had this little guy for almost a year and I still struggle with it, but it's been my inconsistencies that have caused it so keep up with it and you will get it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks!

The weird thing is... in my house and in the backyard.. she is perfect on the leash!

Once we hit the street.. all bets are off! You would think I never take her out- it's so crazy!

Maybe I will practice again in the yard-

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Can you exercise her another way? Leash walking does more in the way of mental stimulation (sniffing, being in a different environment) than physical exercise. Playing fetch in a fenced yard or a trip to the dog park (if she is social) to run around with other dogs will do more to get her moving. This way you can spend your walking time training and not have to worry about not getting anywhere. If she is great in the back yard then try the driveway. Next, go down the side walk to the neighbors driveway, turn around then go home. After that go 2 houses etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
It's going to be painstakingly time consuming in the beginning, but for every few seconds she's by your side and not pulling, treat her with freeze dried liver. Say "heel", and if she can stay by your side for 1 second/step, give her a treat and say "Good Heel!" Then increase the amount of time she's by your side whenever she's consistently successful - Don't move when she pulls!!!! The greatest reward for her pulling is letting her get to where she's trying to go. Practise doing a lot of other training exercises during the walk, which will help her maintain her focus on you during the walk and not on the bird/squirrel, etc. For example,
1. Have her take 2 steps, then stop. ask her to sit. When she sits, treat! And resume walking
2. Have you take a few more steps, then call her name - when she looks at you, treat! And resume walking.
3. Have her take couple more steps, then stop, and ask for her paw - then treat! and resume walking

If you keep doing this, she'll learn that if she pays attention to you, she gets the yummiest treats! If she starts pulling, you've progressed too far, and you need to take it back to just one or two successful steps in the heel position.

The good thing about having a larger dog is that when you treat a good heel, your hand naturally drops down right in front of their muzzle, so it's super easy to treat them during the walk. I have a tiny dog, so it's really annoying bending down all the time to treat her ;(

Also, change direction frequently - when she starts pulling, turn the other way, and she'll be following you again! Any time she's behind you or by your side, verbally praise and reinforce with a liver treat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
Another trick that work if they don't care about food, is to stop, back up and quickly/repeatedly pop the leash until the dog turns and walks towards you. Every single time! Soon they will get the point and when they hit the end of the leash hang back a bit. This works well for the dog who would rather sniff than eat a treat, or the dog who doesn't really care if you're a tree!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Eppy was often (about 75% of the time) the dog who would rather sniff than eat a treat. I put "go sniff" on cue and used it as a reward (instead of food) when he was walking beside me. No leash pops needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
All I can say is "stay with it" I know with Sadie and me it is taking a lot longer than i wanted it too. She knows what i want, she is just chosing to ignor it. But we are doing much better, most the time. But I cant take her for a walk every day like she needs to, my knees just dont work some days. On those days, I am going to start putting her on the treadmill. She loved it before we moved and we couldnt take it with us. We finally got one, and I think tomorrow im going to introduce her to it again. See how she does. Maybe a treadmill would work for your dog, get some of the energy out. And yes I FULLLY understand about the house and yard leashing, turns into a different dog out on a sidewalk or street. Silly dogs anyway. :) gotta love them!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
I have the same problem. Hobbes pulls, pulls, pulls. We have had 2 trainers come to work with us on it, and I have tried everything else I have hard of, being a tree, changing directions, heel, "look at me", etc. I have also tried several tools, including the gentle leader and a front-clip harness, as well as a brief stint with a prong collar (recommended by a trainer, but I still decided I didn't want to use it on my dog).

Once I saw a thread here where someone asked how long this typically takes and someone else said "about 4 hours" LOL. I don't remember who it was, but I'm sure they have incredible skills or an incredibly focused dog. We have been working with Hobbes for 6 months. There's been improvement, but he still pulls like crazy. It's very annoying. I continue to walk him because it's really important to me that he eventually learns to walk nicely. We'll see if it ever happens.

Sorry, I know I'm no help, but you're not alone!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top